Palakkad, 30 Mar 2021 1:59 IST
Akshay Indikar's film is a symbol of hope at a time when the message foreshadows the medium.
The psyche of a human is varied; even more so when that human is a child. Marathi movie Sthalpuran, directed by Akshay Indikar, is a philosophical meditation about a child, his mindscape, and things around him through his perspective.
Dhigu, an eight-year-old boy, relocates to his ancestral village along the Konkan coast with his mother and sister after their father deserts the family. The new milieu offers so much for the young Dhigu. Experiences, events, sights and sounds come into his life to which the boy offers his spectation, like a wallflower. What else can a lonely child, who is yet to come to terms with the perpetual absence of his father, do? The film is punctuated by his innocent and tender diary entries narrated in his own voice. What unfolds through the portrayal of Dhigu’s world is not just a child’s world, but also chronicles of a place, time and the people around him.
The film is abundant with visuals that are pregnant with meaning. The water imagery that runs throughout the movie might be how time flows and how people can but flow with it. The big hoardings that Dhigu gazes at in amazement, the contrasting scenes between the city and the village, the long road that seems to have no end, the static insides of an old family home, the shifting of summer to monsoon — the film has an array of beautiful visuals that add to the semantic soundness of the narrative. Jagadeesh Ravi’s frames are aesthetic, beautiful and filled with meaning.
The director deserves a special mention for the film's unhurried, natural pace. The way he portrays the child's world without the burden of conveying a didactic message or idea has enabled a better exploration of the inner worlds and imagination of a child as well as the bewildering life of the adults around him. Akshay Indikar has proved that in addition to direction, he is also great as an editor, screenwriter and sound designer. Neel Deshmukh is wonderful as Dhigu.
Dhigu's world is full of sounds — of rain, traffic, a household that becomes resplendent owing to festivities; yet, Dhigu himself is silent; so silent that his silence at a point becomes deafening. Indikar's Sthalpuran is a token to all those little minds who are silenced by the world outside and who live in the world within. The 85 minute movie is a symbol of hope at a time when the message foreshadows the medium. The filmmaking, craft and medium are of relevance and prominence.
Sthalpuran was screened at the 25th International Film Festival of Kerala where it bagged two awards. Watch the director Akshay Indikar and sound designer Ajinkya Jumale talk about the making of the film.
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